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Mar 30, 2008

Bohol: God's Little Paradise (Bohol Travel Guide)



Photo by Mike Vargas
Bohol is the tenth largest island in the Philippines. The province is located in the middle of Visayas and is surrounded by other islands like Cebu and Siquijor, thus protecting it from typhoons and heavy rains that often hit the region. Because of Bohol’s perfect weather topped with rich natural resources and hospitable people, it’s no wonder why it has become one of the most sought after destinations in the Philippines. Below is an Itinerary guide for 4 days and 3 nights if ever you plan on a trip to Bohol.


Getting There


By air: You can go to Bohol via Philippine Airlines or Cebu Pacific.
Note: To see schedule of flights, please check the airline’s official websites.

By sea: Another option to visit Bohol when your starting point is not in Manila is through a fast ferry. You can ride the ferry at Cebu, Dumaguete or Siquijor.


Things You Need To Know



Alona Tropical, Panglao
Accommodation: It’s more practical to do your reservations before going to Bohol if you only have limited time, especially during peak season. However, if you feel like being adventurous and do some resort hopping, there are plenty of resorts in Panglao where you could definitely stay at a cheap price. Panglao Island is the best bet when looking for a perfect place to stay in Bohol. Price ranges from 880/night depending if it's peak season or not. Peak season is usually on December,January, April, May and October.




Trivia: Did you know that the Alona Beach in Panglao Island is named after the sexy actress Alona Alegre because she was the first one who wore a swimsuit on the said beach?

Meal: Food being served in resorts are way expensive. It costs 250-300 per person for a full meal. Majority of food served is Western cuisine because almost all guests are foreigners. So, if you are on a tight budget, better pack enough food or buy at Tagbilaran City, which, by the way, is 25-30 minutes away from Panglao.


Tour: Upon arrival in Tagbilaran airport, there are lots of services and guides that are very willing to drop you off at your hotel or resort in Panglao. Rate varies on what kind of transportation you want. Tricycle is Php200.00 while an air conditioned car is Php400.00. With regard to the country tour, your hired vehicle can also serve as your tour guide in Bohol.If you want to book a tour guide before you arrive in Bohol, there are many websites that give away numbers of their recommended tour guides or you may try the following tour guides below.

  • Kuya Rod: 09185914969/Rodboholtours@yahoo.com
  • Kuya Jun Malisa: 09287342073
  • Mang Jun: 09176905627 
  • Paul Bernard Incon- 09297623614
    boholtour.incon45@gmail.com
    http://inconboholtours.webs.com/ratesservices.htm
  • RJ Intano- 09173245488
    Rj.intano@gmail.com
  • Kuya Ranil- 09193443365
  • Kuya RJ- 09273496197
  • Kuya Dodong- 09292742015 and 09166396347
    boholgrandscenery@yahoo.com

Bohol Beach Club


Important Things You Need

  • Moisturizing soap and lotion (some tap water in the area is salty so you need this one)
  • Sunblock (Protect your skin)
  • Shades (protect your eyes)
  • Insect repellent lotions

Budget

Always bring extra dough. It is better to bring more money especially on a trip where scouting the area for ATM machines is such a big hassle. Below is a rough estimate of the budget one needs to have an escapade in Bohol that's truly worth remembering.
Note: Prices are subject to change so it's still advisable to contact hotels, tour guides and airlines.

* Good for one person only

  • Airfare- Php3,500 (two way)
  • Accommodation- Php 900.00/night
  • Food- Php 1,500 (depends on the type of food you will eat)
  • Touring- Php2,800 (includes the day tour and service fee to and fro Tagbilaran airport. You can haggle though)
  • Entrance Fees- Php 400.00 (lunch and tour in Loboc River included)
  • Boat- P2,000 (Island tour, but you can also haggle on the price)
  • Pasalubong- Php 500.00

You need to have: Php 11,000/person is the safest budget if one will follow the itinerary below. But traveling in big group will definitely save you lots of money so it's highly suggested that you go with friends.


Daily Itinerary


First Day


If you fly via Cebu Pacific, you’ll probably arrive in Bohol after lunch. If via PAL, it depends if what flight you’ll be booked. Either way, your first day in Bohol should be a time for relaxation and just
strolling along the beach. If Boracay has a problem

with green algae, Alona shoreline has lots of sea weeds especially after high tide or late afternoon. Unpack your things, check the water service, electricity, mattress and towels. If you have valuables

you can’t bring along with you whenever going out, keep it in a safe place because housekeeping is usually at 12:00 noon. Before heading outside, always lock your rooms and be sure you have the key with you.
Scout for a perfect place to dine in and just enjoy the view together with your welcome drink. (Resorts usually offer a welcome drink to their guests) Before the day ends, contact your tour guide to remind him of your touring the next day.

Second Day

Wake up real early and contact (again) your tour guide. It’s better to start early for the touring while the sun is not at its hottest and for you to have enough time to go to different places you wish to. Perfect time to start is 8:30 AM or 9:00 AM after having a sumptuous breakfast.


1st stop: Blood Compact site The site commemorates Rajah Sikatuna and Miguel Lopez de Legazpi’s friendship and peace offering when they drank from a common cup a drink

with drops of their blood. This historical event took place on March 16, 1565.

But did you know that the site where the monument now stands is not the original location of the blood compact? Few steps from the memorial, is the exact place of Legazpi and Sikatuna’s amity. On the right is the original site of the Blood Compact. A small monument was built together with a brief background of that historical event.


Photo by Mike Vargas
2nd Stop: Baclayon Church
Baclayon Church is considered to be one of the oldest churches in the Philippines. Beside the church is the Baclayon Museum where the old garments, stuff, chairs and images of the church and religious people were stored and preserved. The place was even more eerie than the church itself. By the way, entrance is Php15.00 per head and camera or even camera phones are not allowed.


3rd Stop: Tarsier at Loboc

On the way to Carmen, you will get to pass the Tarsiers, one of the world’s smallest primates, in Loboc, where you can actually touch them. However, these primates don’t want to be touched and when they’re unhappy they commit suicide by banging their heads so better shun away from touching these small little creatures. To protect them, it’s much better to visit them in Corella where the Tarsier Sanctuary is located. This is also the only place holding the Tarsiers legally.



4th Stop: Man-made Forest
The Man-made Forest comprises thousands of mahogany trees that were planted by Boholanos to prevent soil erosion. Soon enough, this lush green passageway from Loboc to Carmen became one of Bohol’s most sought after destinations.







5th Stop: Chocolate Hills (Carmen)These green and sometimes brown hills are located in Sagbayan and Carmen. However, it’s more suitable to go to Carmen because there’s one hill with steps where tourists can actually experience going up the hill sans walking plus it also have several souvenir shops up there . Approximately, there are more than a hundred steps before you reach the topmost portion of the hill and once you do, you will learn about the origin of the hills. Based on the bronze plaque, the chocolate hills were a formation of the limestones and clay.




6th Stop: Hanging Bridge

Before heading to Loboc River for a lunch, consider stopping by the Hanging Bridge first. There are lots of souvenirs and “pasalubongs” being sold in the area as well. It isn’t supposed to be a tourist attraction at first, rather just a bridge connecting two towns, but since its unique and fascinating feature attracts many people, it soon became one of the major tourist attractions in Loboc, Bohol.




7th stop: Loboc River

A trip to Bohol is not complete unless he has lunch (their singers are very good) is an experience that should not be missed. The whole trip lasts for about 1 hour and at the end of the river is the Busay Falls where all the floating restaurants will make a stop over before heading back. The songs are very well chosen and songs like “Pinoy Ako” by Orange and Lemons and “Magellan” by Yoyoy Villame will surely lift up the Filipino pride in you.
at the famed Loboc River. The cost of the buffet meal per pax is Php260.00 and it’s worth every penny. The food, the cruise along the river plus the entertainment


8th stop: Prony the Python

Prony the python is considered the largest reticulated python in captivity in the Philippines. Owners of Prony claim that they caught the snake near their house way back 1996 and from then on treated the snake as part of their family. Prony takes a bath four times a day and eats a whole 60-kilo of live pig once a month.



Photo taken from Bohol.ph
9th and last stop: Hinagdanan Cave
If you still have plenty of time after your pasalubong hunting at "Aproniana" (famous souvenirs shop in Bohol), you might want to check out Hinagdanan Cave in Dauis. It has a man-made spiral ladder that leads to an underground pond where both ends are open. There are lots of stalactites and stalagmites in the cavern and dipping into the pool is not encouraged as the waters there are not clean. Hinagdanan means “laddered” in the Visayan tounge.

Before the sun sets, it is expected that you’ll be back again at the
resort, not unless you want to check out the city, which, by the way, has really no night life at all.

Third Day


Tabuan, Cebu (betst place to buy danggit and dried pusit)
If you feel a little change of environment, you can have the option of having a day tour at Cebu. However, it’s highly suggested that you make the most out of your Bohol escapade by going on an island hopping. Wake up early in the morning to catch some boats for dolphin watching, say 6:00 AM. Afterwards, you can go to Balicasag Island for some snorkeling and diving then head to the tiny uninhabited island, called Virgin Island, for photo shoots and nice deep in the shallow, white sand shores. One can actually walk hundred meters away from the island with waters just above knee.
Since this tour is only half day, you can go back to the resort just in time for lunch and bask under the sun for a good tan. Cap the night off by visiting bars and restaurants along the shoreline of Alona. Mind you, bars in Alona beach is not like in Boracay so don't expect a crowded bar with lots of people dancing and bands. But if you want pure drinking, few dancing and some intimate moments, this is the perfect spot.


Fourth and last day


Photo by Mike Vargas
If you are not yet stoned due to partying last night, you can opt to wake up early and take a long walk along the shore while waiting for the sunrise. Have a hearty breakfast, and last minute sunbathing before fixing your things. Via Cebu Pacific, flight is usually at 1:00 PM so you can first take your lunch at the resort by 11:30 AM and ask your friendly driver cum tour guide to fetch you one hour before the flight schedule.



Manila Bound: Expect to be in Manila 2:30 or 3:00 in the afternoon if flight is not delayed, which is very rare to happen. Unpack your things, take a rest while reviewing your photos and reliving your one of a kind adventure at Bohol.




* Written for and first published on WikiPinas Travel Guide



5 comments:

Maria said...

This is great! THanks for your tips. My family and I are coming from San Francisco and are planning to spend 4 dyas in Bohol so your blog is perfect. I will contact the tour guides you recommended and ask them if they could follow your itinerary.

Also, of Bohol Beach Club and ALona, which one do you recommend?

Maraming salamat again!

jhel said...

Your blog is simple yet informative. Thank you so much.

Toni said...

Thanks for all the comments! ^_^

Greg Funtemayor said...

Whoa! What a wonderful blog is this? Knowing those information about Bohol was great and I am hoping to travel on that place soon. Thank you so much for this post.

Greg @ philippine travel destinations

Incon Bohol Tour said...

Great blog and very informative. We will always give our best to make your trip to Bohol filled with wonderful memories.

Paul Incon